Shrewsbury Park, Shooters Hill Golf Course, Dothill Allotments & Woodlands Farm
Grade: Borough Grade I |
Area: 90.47 ha
Free public access (part of site)
Woodlands Farm is one of the closest working farms to central London and is managed by a charitable trust for environmental education. The Trust took it over following a drawn-out (but successful) protest against proposals to build a motorway through the site in the 1980s. Part of Woodlands Farm lies across the boundary in Bexley borough (see Woodlands Farm, Dryden Road Open Space and Hillview Cemetery). Dothill Allotments are largely abandoned and have been reclaimed by nature. Shrewsbury Park contains a small area of ancient woodland known as High Grove, and has superb views across the Thames to central London. Shooters Hill Golf Course contains further fragments of ancient woodland. The site lies directly across Dover Road from Shooters Hill Woodlands to the south. Much of the site is accessible to the public and the Green Chain Walk runs through it.
The excellent hedges on Woodlands Farm include wild service-tree and the farm also includes a stream with associated wetlands that support a food wetland plant community, and both wet and dry woodland (including Clothworkers Wood). The area has been well surveyed, and consequently is known to support a long list of insects. The stream in the north-east of the site (which forms the Borough boundary) runs through an area of boggy willow woodland, a rare habitat in London. High Grove woodland is dominated by pedunculate oak with silver birch, ash and sycamore, and with areas of tall hornbeam and hazel coppice. The shrub layer is diverse and includes wild service-tree, field maple and Midland hawthorn. The ground flora in the wood is rather poor. The fragments of ancient woodland on Shooters Hill Golf Course have similar woody components to High Grove and Clothworkers Wood, but here is a more diverse ground flora, including abundant yellow archangel, bluebell, wood millet and wood melick. Dothill Allotments contain rough grassland, tall wildflowers and scrub, the latter with ground flora typical of ancient woodland.
Information (educational visits at the Farm at an outdoor educational studies area, and Education Centre); car parking; orienteering course; waymarked walking route
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